Do You Dare a Different Lent?
He was moved by a book by a Spanish Jesuit, Ramón Cué, called, “My Broken Christ.” It is about a priest who found a broken crucifix he wanted to restore.
The priest said to Christ “I do not want to see You so mutilated. You will see how good You will look. You know You are worth everything. You will get a new leg, a new arm, new fingers, a new cross, and, above all, You will get a new face.”
Four of the statements really challenged me.
Do not restore me. When you see me this way, let us see if you will remember my brothers and sisters who suffer and if you will grieve. Let us see if the sight of me so broken and mutilated can be the symbol of the pain of others, the symbol that will cry out the pain of my second Passion in my brothers and sisters. Leave me broken! Kiss me broken!”
“I do not want a wooden arm. I want a real hand of flesh and bone. I want you to become the hand that I am missing. You!”
“Please, accept me as I am. Accept me broken, accept me without a face.”
“Do you have a picture of someone you do not like, your enemy? Put the face of that person on my face, put the faces of all the most abandoned, rejected, poorest people over my face. Do you understand? I gave my life for all of them. In my face, there were all their faces. Do you understand?”
After long conversations with Christ, in the end, the priest understood Christ’s message and, in a soft voice full of longing, said, “Christ, I would like to accept Your invitation, but please, help me! Help me!”
Fr. Mavric continues..
“The broken Christ becomes a clear sign before our eyes that keeps disturbing our peace and calling us to conversion. He invites us to a continuous dialogue with Him in the here and now of the world and of our everyday relationships. This broken Christ helps us to bring ourselves to Him with our human reality, as well as with the reality of every human being.
Christ … keeps challenging us, but gently and with a never-ending mercy, to answer questions like:
Why do you think people disfigured me so badly?
Does a broken Christ make you uncomfortable?
Do broken people make you uncomfortable?
What might cause people to change their attitude toward those considered disfigured?
Where do you see yourself in relation to this reality?
Fr. Mavric reminds us of St. Vincent’s words
“How beautiful it is to see poor people if we consider them in God and with the esteem in which Jesus Christ held them! If, however, we look on them according to the sentiments of the flesh and a worldly spirit, they will seem contemptible.”
“ … Jesus Christ died for us, isn’t that enough to esteem a person? Jesus showed so much respect for us that He willed to die for us. By so doing, it would seem that He valued us more highly than His own Precious Blood, which He shed to redeem us, as if He were saying that He doesn’t value His Blood as highly as all the predestined…”
My own broken Christ, whether before my eyes or in my thoughts, invites me to a real dialogue.
May this Lenten Season help us to deepen or simply start a conversation with the broken Christ, which certainly will not leave us indifferent.
Click below for an audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk